New Zealand fur seal found on Australian farm
In spectacular scenes, a lost New Zealand fur seal was rescued from farmland in NSW, Australia and released into a nearby river on Tuesday morning.
Corrie Shepherd saw the seal making its way onto the paddock of Jellat Jellat farmland, near Bega, from the banks of Jellat Jellat Creek, 230 kilometres south east of Canberra.
"I thought that's a strange looking cow," Shepherd told the Bega District News, with a smile.
"He came out of the creek which makes sense."
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Shepherd's first call was to NSW Police, who advised her to contact NSW National Parks (NSWNP).
Park rangers from Merimbula and Tanja were quickly joined by Bega Valley Shire Council Rangers who helped wrangle, transport and release the lost animal into the river mouth at Mogareeka Inlet, north of Tathra.
NSWNP's Grant Brewer used a purpose built net to sling over the animal and fellow ranger Brett Evans was first to pounce on the healthy male seal.
Brewer said the seal had been sighted in the Bega River at Jellat Jellat over the last few days.
While they have received training in dealing with the animals, another NSWNP ranger described the seal being on the farmland as "very odd".
According to the Department of Conservation's website, New Zealand fur seals have been found in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.
- Illawarra Mercury